Reflections on Community and Kid Boats


One of the biggest things we've been learning about family cruising is- there isn't one "right way" to do it. I don't know why I thought maybe there was, after-all no two families are the same, but I think it was simply due to the unknown nature of what we were getting ourselves into. We had an idea of what it was going to be like, and craved it. Thankfully as we transitioned to boat life we had the book Voyaging with Kids (sailingtotem.com) to help answer a lot of questions, but our sailing circle was small. In turn, it caused me to have a very narrow understanding of the community I was looking to be apart of. Here's a few reasons why:
  • We hadn't owned and or lived aboard in a marina for years before embarking on cruising. (We're finding out this is a common practice). 
  • We only knew one sailing family (who hope to one day be a cruising family)
  • The kids and my sailing skills were limited. 
Without knowing other families like us, it made us feel isolated. For a time, we were outsiders from any kind of community, land or water. Of course I didn't realize these feelings at the time. I realize them now, but it's because I'm starting to feel a sense of belonging in the cruising community. Funny. It almost felt like that movie Field of Dreams..."If you build it, they will come." We knew sailing families were out there, we just didn't know how or where were going to meet any! So we went in faith hoping we'd find our people. I'm so glad we had support from friends and family who encouraged us, even though they probably though we were crazy. I don't think we could have made the leap without them cheering us on.

Now that we've begun to find other cruising families, I'm amazed by the diversity. I'm loving the stories. The why, the how, the ways that brought them out on the water. This is a global community, one that I thought would only be limited to the places we'd visit. I'm discovering that even though this community is spread out over 70% of the Earth, it feels small, very tangible, and we're loving it.

Until recently, I wasn't connected with any sailing / boat-schooling Facebook groups. Honestly, I hadn't even thought of using social media for connecting with people I didn't know. I had only ever used it as a way to keep in touch with family and friends. But now, it's become much more than that. I look back now and wonder why I hadn't reached out sooner on social media? I suppose I just wasn't "there" yet. I needed time. So much of my energy was spent taking care of our day to day on top of making the transition from land to sea. In hindsight, these groups would have been great for me during all the big transitions we've gone through to get to this point. Groups such as:
  • FB - Kids4Sail,  Worldschoolers and Boatschooled
  • Website - Farkwar.com
These are lifelines to friends we don't know yet. I can not only see where other kid boats are at all over the world, but ones we will likely encounter. This also means I can keep track of kid boats we've met, and want to see again. Like I said, its a global community that feels small, which makes it personal.

All in all we are finding our fit, but more importantly we are finding out what kind of cruisers we are, being intentional with the privilege given us and looking for opportunities to share what we have, all while creating endless memories with our kids.

Dinner out with S/V Shawnigan

S/V Promise and Secret Water enjoying some iPad time

S/V Promise, Shawnigan and Secret Water kids

S/V Habi Hoba and Secret Water kids playing around


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